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Netflix plans to make 17 more original productions in Asia

SINGAPORE: Netflix Inc plans to make 17 more original productions in Asia as it seeks to boost international subscriber numbers, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said on Thursday. The plan, announced at Netflix’s content showcase event in Singapore, comes after the U.S. firm reported bumper quarterly earnings last month, driven by gains in international subscribers. The company exceeded forecasts in both the U.S. and international markets, with the bulk of new subscribers coming from outside the United States where…

Asia and Europe must join hands to combat Islamophobia: Fehmida Mirza

BRUSSELS: Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza Asia and Europe must join hands to address the issue of Islamophobia, to promote an open, fair, equitable and transparent trading system. According to a statement released from Brussels,  Fehmida Mirza, who represented Pakistan at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), focused on the importance of cooperation between Asian and European countries to confront mutual challenges and threats. The minister suggested that strong International cooperation…

Asia Gold: Price dip lends lustre, India buying robust ahead of festivals

MUMBAI/BENGALURU: Physical gold buying picked up pace in major Asian centres this week as lower prices fuelled appetite for the metal, with India seeing healthy demand ahead of the festive season despite a rise in domestic rates to a two-month high. In India, the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal after China, gold futures rose to 30,700 rupees ($428) per 10 grams on Thursday, a peak since July 9. Demand in India usually strengthens in the final quarter as the country gears up for the wedding season and major…

Asia’s 10 most gender equal countries according to World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a list of the top most gender equal countries in Asia. The list was drawn after the witnessable contribution made by Asian economies towards gender equality. Since 2006, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index has raised awareness of gender disparities that exist around the world. The latest report highlights the areas of outstanding performance in Asia’s top 10 gender-equal states by analyzing their economic, education, health, and political opportunities.…

China defends ‘New Silk Road’ against debt complaints

BEIJING: Chinese officials on Monday defended Beijing’s initiative to build a “New Silk Road” of railways and other infrastructure across Asia against complaints it leaves host countries with too much debt after Malaysia canceled two high-profile projects. The officials said President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative is creating assets that are needed by developing countries but might take time to pay off. The deputy chairman of the Cabinet planning agency, Ning Jizhe, rejected what he said were foreign…

Dollar weakens after Trump’s Fed comments

HONG KONG: The dollar dipped Tuesday in Asia after Donald Trump hit out at the Federal Reserve´s interest rate rises and accused it of not backing his economic plan, while most equity markets edged up ahead of highly anticipated China-US trade talks. The greenback has been on the ascent in recent months as US borrowing costs have gone up and the economy improves, but it stumbled after Trump´s latest criticism of the central bank. In an interview with Reuters, the president said he was "not thrilled" with the rate rises…

Oil prices down in Asia as focus turns to Trump, equities rise

HONG KONG: Oil prices slipped in Asia on Tuesday morning from three-and-a-half-year highs as investors cautiously await Donald Trump’s Iran nuclear decision later in the day. The US president wrote in a tweet that he would make an announcement on whether or not to tear up the agreement with Tehran and reimpose painful sanctions that could cut off crude supplies. Although Trump has been urged by world leaders to keep it in place, there is a general consensus that he will refuse to preserve the 2015 pact fanning fears of…

Dollar heads into 2018 on a weaker note, Asia stocks mostly up

HONG KONG: The dollar suffered fresh pressure on Friday as traders cash in the recent gains fuelled by Donald Trump's tax cuts, while most Asian equities were on course to end a strong year on a positive note. Asia's biggest markets have enjoyed huge gains over the past year -- with Hong Kong up more than a third and Tokyo nearly 20 percent higher -- fuelled by expectations that Donald Trump would push through business-friendly measures. And while he suffered a series of stumbles he managed to finish 2017 with one…

Bitcoin futures surge past $18,000; Asian shares firm

SYDNEY: The craze for cryptocurrencies entered a new chapter on Monday as bitcoin futures rocketed by one-fifth of their value at a closely-watched launch, while Asian shares climbed amid optimism about global growth. The most-traded contract on the Chicago-based CBOE Global Markets exchange XBTc1 opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, before leaping to a high of $18,700 - a gain of 21 percent. They were last quoted at $17,550 a premium of more than $1,600 to the price on Gemini Exchange. The futures are…